In response to the City of Los Angeles’s release of an updated sustainability plan* in April 2019, Mark Gold (associate vice-chancellor for environment and sustainability at UCLA) wrote an opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times arguing that the bold targets outlined in the plan are attainable – but only with public buy-in.
This public buy-in cannot just manifest itself through the passing of local ballot measures that direct the cost of these initiatives directly onto tax-payers. Public buy-in has to translate to the election of State and Federal officials that delegate the additional funds needed as well as enact laws that remove the barriers to transforming our society collectively to achieve a sustainable future.
However, Gold suggests that setting ambitious goals is the first step to spurring meaningful action, referencing the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge as an example: “In 2012, UCLA, as part of their Sustainable L.A. [sic] Grand Challenge, developed what seemed at the time ambitious targets for Los Angeles County and its 88 cities to reach goals that included getting 100% of their energy from renewable sources by 2050. That goal was initially met with skepticism, because the city was still hooked on coal. Today, the city is less than six years away from being coal free.”
Read the full opinion piece at Los Angeles Times.
*Note: The City’s updated plan was informed by UCLA research.